Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

Beyond the Clock Face ………….Musee d’Orsay, Paris

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Beyond the clock face is Paris, beyond
the ticking away of the ordinary
moments is a lamp-lit cafe with rain
streaking its windows, poetry
spattering its walls. Outside, the
angels gathering on the banks of the
Seine grin back at the ancient
gargoyles. Meanwhile, here at home, the
bed is unmade, the floor unswept. The
party dresses are quiet in the dark
closet……. But there, just beyond the clock
face is Paris. Her angels are listening,
extending their cold fingers to our
outstretched mittened hands……

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Diane Hanna

Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions

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Automotive

William Nelson (1879-1903) was a General Electic employee who invented a new way to motorize bicycles. 

He then fell off his prototype bike during a test run.


Aviation

Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari (1003 – 1010) was a Muslim Kazakh Turkic scholar from Farab, he attempted to fly using two wooden wings and a rope. 

 He leapt from the roof of a mosque in Nishapur and fell to his death.

Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier was the first know fatality in an air crash when his Roziere balloon crashed on June 15, 1785, while he and Pierre Romain were attempting to cross the English Channel.

Franz Reichelt (1879-1912) who was a tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his coat parachute.  It was the first ever attempt with the parachute and he had told the authorities in advance that he would test it first with a dummy (referring to himself?)

Henry Smolinski died in 1973, when he was killed during a test flight of the AVE Mizar,

 a flying car based on the Ford Pinto and the sole product of the company he founded.

Michael Dacre died in 2009, after testing his flying taxi device

 designed to accommodate fast and affordable travel among nearby cities.

Medical

Thomas Midgley, Jr. (1889-1944) was an American engineer and chemist who contracted polio at age 51, leaving him severely disabled.  He devised an elaborate system of strings and pulleys to help other lift him from bed.  This system was the eventual cause of his death when he was accidentally entangled in the ropes of this device and died of strangulation at the age of 55.  He is more famous and infamous for developing not only the tetraethyl lead (TEL) additive to gasoline, but also chlorofluorocarbons (DFCs)

Physics

Marie Curie (1867-1934) invented the process to isolate radium after co-discovering the radioactive elements radium and polonium. 

She died of aplastic anemia as a result of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation emanating from her research materials.

Punishment

Li Si (208 BC) was Prime Minister during the Qin Dynasty

and was executed by the “Five Pains” method which he had devised.

James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton (1581) was executed in Edinburgh on the “Scottish Maiden”

which he had introduced to Scotland as Regent.

Space Exploration

Wan Hu, a sixteenth-century Chinese official, is said to have attempted to launch himself into outer space in a chair to which 47 rockets were attached. 

The rockets exploded and, it is said, neither he nor the chair was ever seen again……….perhaps it worked??!!?

What Does It Really Mean

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Recently the Washington Post listed their winners for Alternate Meanings of Words

Let’s take a look at some common words and find their alternate meanings……..

Coffee, noun.  The Person upon whom one coughs

 

Flabbergasted, adjective.  Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

 

abdicate, verb.  To give up all hope of EVER having a flat stomach.

 

Esplanade, verb.  To attempt an explanation while drunk.

Willy-nilly, adjective.    Impotent

Negligent, adjective.   Absent-mindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

Control, noun.  A short, ugly inmate

Lymph, verb.   To walk with a lisp

Gargoyle, noun.   Olive-flavored mouth wash.

Flatulence, noun.  Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash, noun.   A rapidly receding hairline.

Testicle, noun.  A humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude, noun.  The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Pokemon, noun .  A Rastafarian proctologist

Oyster, noun.   A person who sprinkles their conversation with Yiddishisms.

Frisbeetarianism, noun.  The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Circumvent, noun.  An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Arbitrator, noun.  A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonalds

Avoidable, adjective.  What a bull fighter tries to do

Bernadette, verb.  The act of torching a mortgage

Burglarize, noun.  What a crook sees with

Eyedropper, noun.  A clumsy Ophthalmologist

 

Paradox, noun.  Two physicians

Pharmacist, noun.  A helper on a farm

Selfish, verb.  What the owner of a seafood store does

Sudafed, verb.  Brought litigation against a government official

Polarize, noun.  What penguins see with

Parasites, noun.  What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Paris, France

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We took the early (ONLY) bus out of Penalver, Spain, to Guadalajara and purchased tickets to Madrid  Once in Madrid we spent 3 hours in lines only to find out that we must take a train to another station, Chamartin, in order to purchase our Eurorail passes.  We take the train and spend another hour waiting in lines and finally purchase our passes and our tickets on an overnight sleeper car from Madrid to Paris………….the city of lights.

We are in a sleeper car that will hold four persons, upon arrival we find there will be only one other occupant.  His name is Trakhed, a very nice man from Morocco.  He speaks French and a little Spanish, we leave the station at seven in the evening.  We have been lugging suitcases, standing in line and fretting since eight in the morning!  We go off to the dining car and enjoy a light dinner and some wine.  At nine in the evening the attendant lowers the beds and I promptly climb into the top bunk and our Moroccan friend leaves the quarters.  I fall asleep immediately and sleep rather well throughout the rest of our 14 hour journey across the Great Pyrenees Mountains.  Before the sun sets we enjoy the sites of the Spanish Country side filled with castle after castle.

 We arrive in Paris at 9:30 A.M. and find the weather to be cold and rainy. We stumble upon a most wonderful cab driver who takes us to hotel after hotel as we find no rooms at any inns! He then suggests a chain of hotels called the Ibis, off we go. The hotel is walking distance to Notre Dame and has a very large room with a comfortable bed and full bath — a bath we desperately need after now 27 hours without one! We wander the streets of Paris, just enjoying being here again…………..and being clean!

Saturday, we awake to the city coming to life. The streets are being set up with the Farmer’s Markets throughout this beautiful city. The stands full of fresh meats, herbs, cheeses, flowers, vegetables and even socks and underwear! We so enjoy strolling about and tasting all the delights.

Off we trot to Notre Dame and marvel, once again, in her magnificent art and architecture. We sit in her shadow and enjoy a coffee and parisesane hot dog.


We purchase metro tickets and off we go into the belly of Paris — our first stop the Eiffel Tower, where we stop and help young lovers by taking pictures of them in front of the tower. A young Russian couple returns the favor and takes a photo of August and myself…..how fun!

We rest at the Museum of Modern Art and dine on the patio. Soon back to the metro to continue our exploration.

Our day ended at the Arche de Triumph on the Champs de Elysees

We visited many of our favorite places in Paris and so enjoyed dining at the outdoor cafe with the gracious and fun French wait staff. It seems that whenever we are in Paris that we have returned to Oz.

Sunday May First………..May Day!
The streets are full of flower vendors celebrating this day! We feast upon local meats and cheeses accompanied by croissants — of course and then venture off to the North of Paris for the next leg of our journey…..Belgium! Oh, my mouth waters for the rich beer and a plate of local mussels – and one must not forget the chocolate!!!

The train station is a true representation of all the cultures of the world. People from Africa, in the most beautiful clothes, Germans, Russians, Indians, Pakistani. I found a delightful woman in the tobacco shop who assisted me in purchasing stamps for our post cards and located a postal drop for me.

I am amazed that in the midst of all this chaos and activity when someone stops to be so kind and patient. Our train comes in 45 minutes and we are anxious to be on our way. On the train now in our first class seats, so comfortable and ready to see the sights on this next leg of our voyage. I so marvel at the efficiency of the transportation system here in Europe. Should we have this in the U.S., I believe many more would engage in exploration of our beautiful country. We change trains in Brussels and move on to Gent — watching the charming countryside as we move along.